WASHINGTON, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two national groups representing over 200,000 business nationwide submitted comments today in support of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposed regulations of methane from natural gas operations on public lands. The Green America Business Network (GBN) and American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) are encouraging BLM to further limit venting, flaring and leaks from natural gas production on federal and tribal lands.
GBN and ASBC comments highlighted the risks to businesses nationwide from climate change. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and recent research from Harvard demonstrates that methane emissions in the central U.S. increased by more than 30 percent between 2002 and 2014. These methane emissions are significantly undermining the reductions the US has achieved in CO2 emissions and are worsening global warming. Small businesses in general are vulnerable to climate change, and have less resources to adapt to it. Impacts include disrupting distribution, interrupting farming and production, and rising healthcare costs for employees.
"Climate change represents a huge risk to small businesses nationwide," said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Green America. "Currently, the oil and gas industry allows enormous amounts of methane to be wasted each year on public lands. Those methane leaks contribute directly to global warming at a time. Small business leaders nationwide are calling for a reduction in emissions to protect the economy and create businesses opportunities over the next decade."
"We already see the risks to businesses from climate change," said Richard Eidlin, vice president of Policy and Campaigns of ASBC. "At the same time, businesses are at the forefront of companies providing methane mitigation. The BLM's rules will help to spur clean energy innovation and jobs in the United States, while helping to protect the environment and economy for decades to come. That's good for business."
The groups also called on BLM to strengthen its proposal, including:
- improving leak detection and repair requirements;
- enacting better standards for production equipment and strengthening flaring regulation; and
- ensuring enforcement, transparency, and accountability (including increased ability for public comment for ongoing issues).
Green America is the nation's leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. The Green Business Network represents over 3,000 businesses nationwide and is home to both rising social and eco enterprises and the most established green businesses around. The Network provide the tools, information, and consumer base to help businesses thrive in today's competitive green marketplace.
The American Sustainable Business Council asbcouncil.org advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.
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SOURCE Green America, Washington, D.C.